USAToday Columnist: Religion is Killing the Planet
(Hat tip: Feddie)
Some nutty USAToday columnist asks "Is what we preach — and ultimately, what we believe — hastening the destruction of our planet?"
Be fruitful and multiply," says the book of Genesis, and Lord knows we have. To the tune of more than 300 million at home and more than 6 billion abroad. But as we go about the heavenly task of multiplying, a poignant question arises: Might our religion be killing us?(emphasis added)
Now, consider the Roman Catholic Church's continued opposition to modern birth control or the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' (i.e. Mormons) encouragement of large families. This might not alarm you unless you realize that nearly one in every five humans on the planet is Roman Catholic and that the Latter-day Saints belong to one of the fastest-growing religions in the Western Hemisphere. Many Orthodox Jews and some Muslims also eschew birth control.
In the interest of preserving our planet and our species, shouldn't religious organizations be encouraging smaller families? Do our spiritual leaders need additional divine revelation to realize that our current doctrines — which threaten to take the entire world down with us — have become ethically and theologically questionable?
Population growth hits hardest in the poorest nations, and as poverty increases, public health declines. I am quite certain that God is not the author of human misery, but by preaching against birth control at the same time we are preaching against abortion, it seems that we're making God out as cruel, a buffoon, or both.
I recognize that religious organizations tend to be conservative institutions. Their continued resistance to equal rights for women and gays is a good example. A woman may be president of Harvard or speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, but in the largest religious organization on the planet, women still can't get ordained as parish priests. It's even worse for gays and lesbians.
All this is to say that religion often comes late to the party — sometimes kicking and screaming, as did most Southern churches on slavery and civil rights. Only this time, we can't afford it. Not when the fate of the planet might hang in the balance.
How should people of faith respond to this gathering environmental storm?
First, we must stop having so many children. Clergy should consider voicing the difficult truth that having more than two children during such a time is selfish. Dare we say sinful? The average American might not listen to his elected representatives, but he darn sure listens to his pastor. Every week. This will be a hard message for pastors to preach and parishioners to hear, but without it we court disaster.
In addition, Americans should be having important policy debates as we anticipate a hotter, more hostile natural environment. Instead of providing tax breaks for having more children, shouldn't Congress be providing incentives for having fewer?
This guy's all over the place - birth control, conservatives, equal rights for gays and women, priestesses, etc. - all having little or nothing to do with protecting the environment. It's clear from the non-environmental aspect of his argument that this dude has some sort of beef against religion and is just using this environmental argument as a cudgel to try to settle the score.
At any rate, it's becoming quite clear where the climate change debate seems to be inevitably headed. One day soon - probably within the next 10 to 20 years (if not sooner), the same China that is currently a pariah for its human-rights abuses in Tibet will be held up as a paragon of earth stewardship because of it's one-child policy. Just you wait and see.
Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
The Pitter-Patter of Carbon Footprints ...
Cardinal Pell Criticizes Australian Medical Ass'n for Publishing Letter Advocating Carbon Tax on Children
Professor Solves Global Warming: Let’s Tax Reproduction
Global Alarming Update: Focus on So-Called "Carbon Footprint" Anti-Family
Malthusian Nonsense from "Global Warming" Alarmists
Manly Men Don't Go in for Global Warming Hysteria
Cardinal Pell on Global Warming Alarmists: "Scaremongers" and "Zealots"